Q&A: Joy Pershing on Marketing With Local Numbers

Headshot of Joy Pershing
If your business targets a certain region or has multiple locations, marketing with local numbers is a must.

We could throw a bunch of stats at you to prove why, but instead we decided to have a little Q&A session with Joy Pershing, who knows local numbers like Bobby Flay knows cooking.

Joy gets her local number genius from being an account manager for Who’s Calling, which provides a lot of local numbers to businesses like Yellow Pages publishers and ad agencies. These organizations then give the local numbers to their customers to use on advertisements. When people call the numbers in response to those ads, the publishers and agencies are able to show their advertisers how profitable their ads are.

So without further ado, here’s what Joy has to say about marketing with local numbers.

Q: You work with a lot of ad agencies and publishers that use toll-free numbers to qualify the success of their clients’ ads. How are local numbers important to them?
A: My clients feel that if they print a local number in their publication or online, it'll give them an edge over other competitors using toll-free numbers, because callers want to know that they're calling a local business. If they see a toll-free number, they get nervous that the business is too far away from them.

Q: What types of businesses benefit most from using local tracking numbers?
A: Local tracking numbers are best used in rural areas where consumers want to know that they're calling a business down the street and not several cities away. They're also important for certain industries, such as multihousing. If you're searching for a new home or apartment, you're more likely to call a number local to the area you're wanting to move to rather than a toll-free number.

Q: Have you seen clients change their advertising strategies based on the response they get from local numbers?
A: Absolutely. If our clients use local tracking numbers, they can take advantage of the proximity reports that we provide them. They can see the area in which most of their leads are coming from and therefore adjust the location of their ads to get more bang for their buck.

Q: What’s the number-one misconception you hear about call tracking?
A: “Call tracking is just an extra expense to add to my advertising budget that I can’t afford.” However, call tracking is one of the most effective ways to save money. With call tracking, you're able to see what campaigns are working and what ones aren't driving leads. Then once you adjust your campaigns you'll be able to save money.

Q: Have you noticed that your perception of a business changes based on whether they use a toll-free number or local number? How so?
A: I think the perception of calling an 800 number is that the business is a faraway, global megacorporation. This turns off consumers that want to buy local and support local businesses. Even if local numbers are attached to the local branch of a multibillion dollar corporation like Walmart, they give customers the impression that they're supporting a neighborhood business.

Local numbers can also be used to track pay-per-click conversion rates and other marketing analytics, raising advertising effectiveness.

Have a question for Joy? Tweet it to us at @whoscalling or contact her on LinkedIn.